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The Easy Road To Upgraded Performance

“God damn, piece of junk…”

That little spinning circle appeared again and my entire computer froze…

I looked longingly towards the nearest window visualising using it as a launch point for the over sized paper weight my laptop had become…

When your computer slows down like mine had, you have 2 options. You can contact all the companies which write software for it and ask them to improve the code, making it more elegant, more efficient so it requires less processing power to run.  

Good luck with that one. 

Software development is expensive, slow and difficult to do, taking teams of highly skilled developers years to do.

Or you can just plug in a bit of new memory, change up the motherboard and improve the CPU.

It’s much cheaper, you can do it yourself and once it’s done your computer will run like new.

Why am I talking about this?

I went to a conference on high performance at work. They talked about how to increase employee learning and performance using the latest neuroscience, advanced learning techniques and understanding peoples true motivations…

The food they served at lunch time was absolute shit.

I was doing work for a top sports team (you’ve heard of them) they wanted me to improve the players mindset to push their players to even higher levels of performance on the pitch. 

I went to the changing rooms and they were full of traditional deodorants, shower gels and other endocrine disruptors which increase oestrogen, definitely not what sportsmen or women want.

In short, they were all focussing on the software…whilst totally ignoring the hardware

And it’s something I see being repeated across all walks of life…all industries.

The simplest most effective way to improve your performance in ANYTHING is to upgrade the hardware.

Want to improve your employees performance and raise the bottom line of your business? Get rid of the vending machines in the office and improve the food served at the canteen. Want to improve your teams performance on the pitch…look at their habits off the pitch first.

By working on the hardware first it gives people much more bandwidth to install any software they like…and have that software run properly.

Your brain like your body is a biological machine. 

  • If your brain doesn’t have the resources to create the chemicals which cross the neural gap to fire the next neuron in the net. 
  • If it lacks the building blocks to make myelin, the stuff which coats your neurons and allows them to fire faster and more accurately.
  • If your brain is inflamed so neurones fire slower and with less potential so any message is much more likely to get lost.
  • If your body lacks the hormones to grow, to give you energy, to power your muscles and your brain. 

In short if the hardware isn’t working properly…I don’t care what software you try to install on it…IT WONT RUN PROPERLY.

Once the hardware has been upgraded most of my clients see such huge performance increases they don’t really care about the software. 

But if they do, we can now take the time to really install software which works in concert with their newfound hardware and takes their performance to stellar levels.

But without that hardware any software we install is like trying to run Google on a ZX Spectrum….it might run but you’ll be seeing a lot of that spinning wheel.

kitesurf fitness

So if you want to improve your kitesurfing, your surfing, your snowboarding, your performance at work so you earn more and work less and have more time to do what you love, your performance as a husband, wife, father, mother…lover! WHATEVER!

Start with the hardware…it’s easier, faster, much simpler to maintain and once you have it set up, much easier to run any fancy software you want on it.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade your hardware so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

See you on the inside!

Sam
😎🤙

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Improve Physical Performance By Playing Computer Games?

You might think it’s obvious that if you have a tough day at work you’re going to have a worse than usual session on the water or on the slopes afterwards.

What you may not realise is just how closely related those two things are.

In a study by S. Macora, subjects sat and played a simple and fairly mind numbing (I’ve played them) computer game for 90 minutes. The game was ridiculously simple where shapes or letters appeared on a screen and subjects had to press a button depending on what they are shown.

Easy right?

Well yes, but the point is that you have to pay attention for 90 minutes.

What’s incredible is that after these 90 minutes were up, the subjects reached physical exhaustion 15% sooner in an all out cycling test.

The implications of this study are huge and indeed are being investigated by the British military as a way of extending physical endurance by subjecting candidates to repeated “brain endurance training.” Thus building mental and by implication physical endurance. (It’s not currently known if this works in the other direction so to speak)

But the possibilities if it does are pretty amazing. Meaning that by increasing concentration and focus we can also build physical endurance.

The more immediate takeaway for us is to leave a gap between heavy mental work and our sessions.

Or don’t do your accounts just before you do your favourite sport.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade yourself so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

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Your 2 Brains (Not The 2 You’re Thinking Gents!)

You were born with 2 brains.

One of them is awesome at pretty much everything.

The other one sucks..big time.

The awesome brain I call the animal brain, the sucky one, the human brain.

The animal brain is incredible at pretty much everything, it’s faster, more accurate and requires much less looking after than the human brain. It is however a shy and timid beast.

The good news is you have your own animal brain…

Unfortunately you also possess the human brain.

Your 2 Brains

The animal brain is our instinctive brain…

The brain we share with lizards. It includes not just parts of the actual brain but also the nervous system and any intelligence held within our body, muscle memory and the like.

It’s responsible for all our instinctive actions, the actions which happen without you thinking about them and thus have very little control over.

The withdrawal reflex when you put your finger in a fire.

The instinctive flinch when someone raises their fist to hit you.

The uncontrollable laughter when your mate smacks himself full in the face whilst trying to pull his wetsuit on (well maybe not, but I for one don’t have much control over this one).

It does it’s work under the hood and we have very little access to the controlling mechanism.

Your human brain is your rational mind. This is the part of the brain that we use for planning ahead, for rationalising, for analysing past events and predicting future consequences, the inner critic.

Now, each of these brains has a separate connection to each sense (except the sense of smell, but that’s not relevant to our discussion here). So from your eyes you have one connection running up to the human brain and one connection running down to the animal brain.

The important thing is this: The animal brain connection response time is 10 times faster than the human brain connection response time.

Why?

Because your human brain has to think about its response.

All that awesome technology that goes in to making the human mind the most powerful supercomputer in the known universe has to swing into action.

It has to workout what the incoming information means, pass it through various filters, determine what it means to you now, come up with an appropriate response and send the response back to you, so you can do something about it.

The animal brain doesn’t do that. Whenever an incoming stimulus matches the correct pattern the appropriate response is automatically fired.

No thought, no hesitation.

It’s hardwired.

And thank God it is

In a survival situation where every split second counts this is crucial.

So to gain true mastery of any skill we have to transfer its processing from the human brain to the animal brain (thus speeding up it’s processing by a factor of 10) and making the whole thing automatic so we do it on autopilot.

First off though we need to get one thing straight…

Your human brain doesn’t trust your animal brain.

It thinks it’s a bit of an idiot.

The human brain likes to think it’s very intelligent because of it’s higher reasoning capacity. It loves technical, results based, how to, style information. It wants detailed instructions telling it EXACTLY what to do in every single situation.

It then uses this technical know how to browbeat the animal brain, constantly telling it what it should be doing. You experience this when you’re learning a new skill.

It’s that constant voice in your head saying.

“Ok keep your eye on what your doing, dummy…”

“And watch out for that other person over there…”

“Keep your knees bent…”

“God damn! You T***, why can’t you just do it right!?”

The problem is when your human brain is commanding the animal brain like this, your animal brain doesn’t perform very well, it crumples under the pressure.

Compare and contrast that experience to changing gear in a car.

The first time you tried changing gear (if you’re anything like me) it seemed like an impossible task. There’s all these different things to do, in the correct order, coordinated over feet, eyes and arms and you’ve got a split second to do all of it, whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

Your human brain was constantly on at you to “do this, don’t forget that, push the clutch you idiot,” and as as result you got stressed out and the whole experience felt clunky as you waited for the human brain to tell you what to do next.

Now, if you’ve been driving a while, I bet you can’t break it down into its separate parts. It has become one action that you do not think about. You human brain does not get involved. It’s learned to trust the animal brain on this one and as a result you perform the task effortlessly.

And if you do try and think about it, and I challenge you to do this (make sure you’re on a quiet, wide road at the time)  often the action doesn’t feel natural at all.

When you’re on a roll, in the zone, deep in the flow state, lost in the moment. Just doing it…

You’re not thinking about what you are doing AT ALL.

Your animal brain has taken over and you’re operating on instinct alone. When we leave the animal brain to just get on with it…

It does really well,

So what we’re actually trying to do when we’re teaching you a new sport is to get your human brain to shut up. To stop it feeding this information, these endless instructions and criticisms to the animal brain…and just let it get on with it.

“Ok great,” you might be saying, “but when changing gear for the first time I wanted to have the human brain telling me what to do. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue what to do in the first place.”

Yup I’m right with you.

And herein lies the paradox at the heart of peak performance.

We need to try really hard and then not try at all

You see, I’m not saying that all that technical information is of no use…

In fact I would advise you to swot up on as much technical knowledge as you can BEFORE you start.

Watch all the YouTube video’s you can, visualise your move over and over, have a perfect picture in your head of what you are trying to achieve, feed the human brain and let it transmit this knowledge (osmosis style) to the animal brain.

But when you actually start to do whatever it is, forget it all and let the inner animal do it’s job…believe me, it’s much better at whatever you’re doing than you are.

Interested to know more?

I run an exclusive FREE VIP club where we delve in to this and a load of other stuff in much more detail to enable you to perform like you’re 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60+, you can check it out here >>

See you on the water,

Sam.
😎🤙

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The Road To High Performance

When I first started getting serious about optimal human performance, I had no idea where to start.

So the first place I went was my doctors, after all, who knows more about health? 

I asked him ”Doc, I feel ok, but I want to feel amazing, can you help?”

My doctor looked at me and said, “Ok great, what symptoms do you have?” 

“Hmmm…nothing really I guess”

“Well I’m afraid I can’t help you young man.” (I was 25 at the time!)

I must have looked pretty disappointed as he went on to tell me something which has stuck with me all these years. 

”As doctors we are only trained to cure sickness, you get ill, you come to us, we fix you. But if you’re not sick there’s nothing we can do.

We have a model of what is called health care when in fact it’s sickness care. Health care would be ensuring people never got sick in the first place! How’s this relevant? Well…

Most of us peak in our natural performance between the ages of 15 – 25, some of us, the athletes and those who look after themselves or win the genetic lottery manage to stay there a bit longer, maybe up to 30.

After which it’s generally a long, slow decline towards death…”

“Cheery thought huh?”

“What most people don’t realise is, this isn’t inevitable. In fact there are some people who seem to totally avoid this decline altogether and it can certainly be prolonged long after what is currently considered natural.”

I thought of the various athletes I knew who were considered outliers as they were considerably older than the norm and still dominating their game.

Tom Brady the 43 year old star quarterback and superstar of the NFL being a prime example.

“You see, declining performance in ALL areas is a process of death by 1000 cuts. We eat crap, we neglect sleep, we work too hard and for too long, we party too much, we don’t exercise or over exercise, we spend too much time being stressed or don’t apply the right kinds of stress to the body.

In short we abuse our bodies which slowly, slowly, slowly get worn down as a result.

So by the time most of us reach 30, we are operating at 50% of our full potential, at most.”

Then he flashed a grin at me and said…“That’s where I come in,

It’s at about this stage people start coming to see me, lack of energy, can’t sleep, gaining weight, feeling tired, depression. If they’re unlucky it might be some industrial disease, CFS, IBS or something else with a name. It might be simpler, just not being as fit as they feel they should be or not being able to bring it like they used to.

There’s still not a lot we can do as doctors at this stage as they generally don’t have any medical symptoms for us to work with.

So they start to self medicate.

They drink coffee to wake them up in the morning, alcohol to knock themselves out in the evening and energy drinks to get through the day.

They throw down painkillers, start doing crash diets which, although they may provide temporary relief, actually throw the body into greater chaos, further reducing their long term performance by adding a few more cuts to those 1000 we talked about earlier.

The insidious problem here is, all their friends are showing similar symptoms as well. So they think their complaints are normal and chalk it up to old age.

One of the major problems in the western world today is the belief symptoms are normal and simply a sign of growing old…I’m telling you after 30 years as a doctor, symptoms are common in our western world…they are NEVER normal. It’s just, we pretty much ALL suffer from them and so believe they are.”

“Wow,” I thought this is interesting. So I asked, 

“Ok, now you come to mention it, I’ve been noticing I’m not as energetic as I used to be, I struggle more at the gym and on the water, I don’t sleep as well, I get bloated after eating and I’m starting to put on a few pounds…do you think this means I’m not performing as well as I could be?”

“Young man…” he said, looking me up and down, “I believe you are currently operating at somewhere around 50% of your true potential…”

“Holy Cow!”

I was the healthiest person I knew!

He continued, “Right now you have 2 choices. You can carry on as you are and continue this inevitable, slow decline into death or do something about it and take your performance back up to 100%.”

“Is that even possible?” I said.

“Oh God yes…

Think of your body like a car, a high performance sports car.

If you take this car and put crappy fuel in it, drive it like a maniac, crash it a few times and never take it for a service or to see a mechanic, in 20 years it’ll be ready for the scrap heap.

But if you take this car and put a new engine in, replace all the parts with new ones and lovingly restore the body work, you can restore it to its former glory. What’s more because technology has advanced in those 20 years, it can actually be rebuilt better.

Biology works in exactly the same way, but it’s easier because it does all the work for you. You just have to give it the inputs it needs to do its job…which is actually a lot simpler than people think.”

I go over those inputs and coach you in how you can use them to rejuvenate your biology, knocking years off your biological age in our online community “The Pack”

You can join for free here >> (it’s not on Facebook!)

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Why Giving Up Booze Nearly Killed Me…

A Journey Into One Mans Dysfunction.

I hadn’t drunk alcohol in 6 months…

and I felt terrible for it.

Sure I hadn’t suffered the hangovers, but I’d developed something much worse… 

Before I gave up the bottle I was working 16 hour days and doing the work of 6 people. 

I thought my ability to do this consistently was a sign of my high performance lifestyle. I was eating well, exercising plenty, taking handfuls of supplements and following the advise of a bunch of Peak Performance gurus, I thought I was Bulletproof.

Now the fact that I was sleeping for around 4 hours a night, waking up with my stomach in knots and my mind racing only forced to reinforce this fact in my misguided mind. 

I was resilient and could take it.

I knew however, I still had one crutch. I’d go out most weeks, get absolutely smashed and then spend the next few days feeling terrible. I realised if I wanted to be truly high performance this habit had to go. So I gave up.

Suddenly I started falling asleep the instant my head hit the pillow, didn’t suffer the apathy and depression of hangovers and had a TONNE of energy…

Well that all sounds great Sam, well done…

And that’s exactly what I thought, but…

Let’s Explore The True Depths Of My Dysfunctionality.

What did I use this new found energy for?

  • Did I go kitesurfing and set out on crazy adventures like I really wanted to? 
  • Did I use it to spend more time with friends? 
  • Did I maybe just use it to read more and feed my brain? 

Of course not…

I used it to work even harder!

I was now doing the work of 8 people…not only was I a high performance human being I was now a high performance human being who didn’t drink…how incredible was I? Just look at me you mere mortals as I run around from 4 am to 12 am and never stop…

What a perfect example of a High Performance Human Being….

What An Idiot!

The short story is giving up booze drove me towards burnout even faster….it gave me the energy to bugger myself up properly! 

And for that I am actually grateful. Had my journey towards burnout been slower I’d still most likely be living that way now.

Now funnily enough the message I want you to take from this post isn’t that giving up booze is bad, when I actually sorted my life out this proved to be one of the most empowering steps I’ve ever taken, but instead to highlight my fundamental problem with the world of high performance at the moment.

Nootropics, bio hacks, handfuls of supplements…all these are great if you have the fundamental foundations to build on…ie a healthy biology and a healthy lifestyle which supports high performance. 

Mainly one which combines ample recovery time in-between your bouts of high performance.

If you don’t have these you’re just…

Putting Rocket Fuel In A Skoda.

And can just sit back and watch as the poor vehicle shakes itself apart when you put your foot on the gas.

The key here is to build a lifestyle of high performance first. And that doesn’t mean running out and ordering all the latest nootropics. The most important aspect of high performance isn’t high performance itself is how you recover from and prepare for your next bout of high performance. 

Just like a top class athlete knows the time between training sessions is where the magic happens (as this is where your muscles grow and your brain lays down new neural pathways) so the same is true of high performance. We must learn to recover effectively, to prepare the body for its next bout of high performance.

And the way we do that? By switching off, powering down, chilling out and giving our body time to do the heavy lifting it needs.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade yourself so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

Sam
😎🤙

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Why Your Sofa Is Killing Your Sport

surfing

When you ask most people what they are doing after a session on the water or the mountain the reply is surprisingly similar, normally involving the sofa, Netflix and a few beers whilst they recover and mull over the days action.

“And why not” I hear you say, “I’ve damn well earned it.”

And I wholeheartedly agree.

Here’s the thing, since 1960 the number of jobs involving sedentary activity has increased by a massive 83%. Not just that but the increasing comfort of our lifestyles coupled with technology which makes our lives easier at every turn has led to most of us being sedentary for the majority of our lives, even when we’re not sitting in front of a screen.

Dr. Richard Weiler, who’s credentials include physician for a British premier league football club and Senior Sports Physician at the British Olympic Association, looked into what his footballers did off the pitch.

What he found was surprising. 

About 80% of off pitch time was spent in sedentary states.

His findings have been confirmed across other sports including American Football and Rugby. I would bet the same holds true for most of us as well…in fact a short survey I did at the beach recently certainly seemed to point in this direction.

Scientists have known for a long time that not moving much for long periods of time is inherently bad for us. It changes the expression of a multitude of genes which in turn leads to rising inflammation, a down regulation of cardiovascular health and a whole host of other effects, none of which are good.

The bad news…

All it takes is around 2 hours of sitting and these effects start to manifest themselves.

Most of us are sedentary for much more than this on a daily basis.

In fact having tracked my own inactive time using my Oura ring I still average around 5-6 sedentary hours a day, and I’m the most active person I know.

No worries,” I hear you cry, “I work out.”

Well here’s the real kicker. 

It seems a short burst of exercise doesn’t help.

Indeed it seems these changing gene expressions and the effects they cause react to low level physical activity levels over the entire day. So a sudden burst of exercise wont fix it. You can’t do cross fit in the morning and then hit the sofa for the rest of the day, you need to be constantly micro moving to keep that low level of physical activity high to keep these genes switched off.

However for most of us when we’ve done a good workout or done a bit of sport we think we deserve a rest and so tend to take it easier for the rest of the day. It’s called the “compensatory effect,” similar to how you think you’ve earned that chocolate muffin after a session at the gym.

Now, this is actually good news (especially for those of you who hate formal exercise) as the solution is relatively simple.

Move for 5 – 10 mins every hour.

Get up and go for a toilet break, do some press ups, get a standing desk or even better a walking desk, go for a walk on your lunch break. Hell, you really don’t need me to tell you how to do this, just try to build things that work for you into your day.

Want To Unlock Your FULL Human Potential?

Check out our free online community here >> (it’s not on Facebook!)

Sam.
😎🤙

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How To Stretch Properly Before Sports

snowboard injury

In my last post we talked about how static stretching isn’t what you want to be doing before sports…if you missed that post you can check it out here >>

So what can you do instead?

Well the first thing I recommend for my clients is dynamic stretching.

Dynamic (or ballistic) stretches stretch the muscles through movement. Repeated studies have shown they can improve power, strength and performance during a subsequent exercise session. Unlike static stretching which involves just pulling on a specific muscle group, dynamic stretching incorporates posture control, stability, balance and ballistic, explosive movements such as swings and kicks.

Take a simple quadricep stretch, the traditional way of doing this (the way I was taught when I used to play football) was to simply stand on one leg, grab the ankle of the other leg and pull that heel towards your bum, a classic static stretch.

Instead of this, imagine you were to take a giant step forward with your right leg and then grab the ankle of your left foot pulling it up to your bum. Now drop it down and take a giant step forward with your left leg, grab your right heel and pull it to your bum. Suddenly you are incorporating stability, balance and mobility whilst actually contracting the muscles.

All of which makes this a far superior way to stretch.

I would recommend warming up before doing dynamic stretching. Due to its ballistic and explosive nature you are more likely to injure yourself if done from cold than static stretching so a good 10 min cardio based warmup is mandatory.

The other method I use and have most of my clients use, is

Deep Tissue Work.

This catch all term refers to anything which gets deep into your muscles and connective tissue. Now there are loads of ways to do this, Rolfing, Muscle Activation Technique, Advanced Muscle Integrative Therapy, Point Therapy, but my favourite (mainly for its ease and accessibility) is foam rolling and simply making love to a spiky Death Star! (Or if you don’t want to buy one of the specialist devices, rolling around on a tennis ball to really get it into all those spots which hurt).

Think of it as a self applied (or inflicted!) deep tissue massage.

Why do this?

When you have areas of chronic tightness or tension, or a history of injury or muscle overuse, adhesions (bands of painful areas) usually form in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. These adhesions block circulation whilst causing pain, inflammation and limited mobility.

Which is turn means when you exercise (or just sit around for too long) you create tension in these muscles. Tighter muscles tend to weaken, and a weak muscle tends to tighten…so you get a viscous cycle which increases inflammation, reduces blood flow and lessens the ability of the lymphatic system to remove waste material from the muscle, thus increasing the risk of injury.

Deep tissue work gets in and breaks these adhesions down by applying direct pressure or friction across the grain of the muscle.

The best thing about Deep Tissue work? It doesn’t have to be done directly before or after sports, but can simply be something you include in your daily routine. I tend to do 20 mins every morning and evening when I can and the differences after just a few months are HUGE.

Interested to learn more?

I’ve put together a free workout plan which includes all of the techniques mentioned to ensure you never get injured again…

You can get it when you join our free online community here >>

Sam.

😎🤙

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Why You Shouldn’t [Static] Stretch Before Sports

kitesurf fitness

I have a mate and every time we go to the beach he has to spend 20 minutes stretching before he hits the water. Now he also expects me to launch his kite so inevitably I (being the kind and considerate chap I am) end up sitting through his impromptu Yoga session with gritted teeth waiting to get out on the water.

At some point through his contortionist act he’ll no doubt call out,

“You should join me you know, you’ll get injured out there if you’re not careful.”

My answer…

“No thank you good sir.” (I swear I’m that polite!)

And yours should be too if you’ve any sense.

Why? 

I’m sure if you’re like me, since the age of 0 you’ve been told to stretch before you do any form of exercise. To loosen your muscles up and prevent injury…

Now I’ve always had my doubts about this (and to be honest, I’ve always hoped I was right, as I was often too lazy to be bothered to stretch) but recently science has got on my side, at least for the form of stretching that my mate does.

Static Stretching

You see he practices something called static stretching. 

This is just the posh way of referring to the stretches which most people do before a workout or hitting the water. You know, the bend over and touch your toes type of stretches. To define them a bit better they’re stretches where you get into the stretch position and then hold the stretch without moving.

The problem is that static stretching doesn’t really help your mobility, worse, done before a session it can negatively impact your performance on the water. For example a recent study found that runners were on average 13 seconds slower when they performed static stretching right before a one mile up hill run.

In fact several studies have shown that static stretches can inhibit the amount of force a muscle can produce in just about any jumping, running or lifting activity and even worse, it doesn’t reduce your risk of injury.

It all comes down to the fact that making muscles loose and tendons too stretchy before exercise prevents them from producing quick and powerful responses.

Think about it like this, when you’re doing static stretches you’re telling your muscles to do the complete opposite of what you need when kitesurfing, surfing, snowboarding or pretty much any other sport you care to think of…

Explosiveness.

That’s not the only problem with static stretching. If your body is already a bit messed up or injured (and let’s face it who’s isn’t!) stretching can create more problems.

So if you’re prone to hyper mobility too much stretching can make you…

Too stretchy!

Joint hyper mobility, whilst cool at parties, means less ability to produce force and increased risk of cartilage and bone injury.

Another drawback…when you exercise frequently your muscle fibres can easily get cross linked, knotted and stuck to one another in a pattern called an “adhesion.”

Think of your muscles as a rope with a knot in the middle. When you pull on the rope at both ends the knot gets tighter and more difficult to untie. This is exactly how static stretching can make things worse if you have poor mobility, adhesions, knots and other tissue issues.

Mountain Biking

Added to this most people have a set repertoire of stretches they run through again and again. Meaning that whilst some joints are getting stretchier, other aren’t. Which can lead to huge imbalances down the line..think of a bicycle wheel with bumps and dents at random spots all over it so it’s really not a circular shape any more at all…

Bumpy ride huh?

But this is effectively what is happening to your body.

So what’s a guy or gal to do?

I’ll be covering that in my next post but in the meantime I’ve put together a FREE workout and recovery routine designed to be done in just 15 mins a week which will boost your mobility and your sports performance. You can check it out when you join our free community here >>

Sam.
😎🤙

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How The Flow State Can Turn You Into A Superhuman

Ever experienced the feeling where you can do no wrong, where every action you take is perfect, where time slows down or speeds up and you’re totally in the moment undistracted by what’s going on around you or by the voice in your head?

If you answered yes you’ve experienced The Flow State.

The Flow State is the ultimate human performance state, it’s often referred to in layman’s terms as “the Zone.” It’s that time when you perform perfectly. Where everything is effortless, time dilates and you are often left with a huge buzz and a sense of well being.

Repeated entry into The Flow State is associated with higher levels of happiness, longer lifespans, higher levels of wealth and more career success.

It’s also been calculated that you perform up to 350% better when you are in a flow state.

No wonder companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are spending millions on projects to implement more of it the workplace. No wonder professional athletes including kitesurfers are on a quest to get more flow into their performance, imagine how superhuman you’d be if you could perform 350% better every day! 

Snowboard

But how do we, who don’t have the budget of these mega corporations get more Flow in our lives and into our sports?

Well, the first step is to understand how it works.

Before we get anywhere near the flow state we have to go through a series of steps, the first is…

The  Struggle Phase.

The is, as the name would suggest, the unpleasant (but absolutely necessary) part. It’s also where we’ll spend most of our time. We research, we experiment, we fail…over and over again, but each time we fail a little less. This is the time we’re practicing that new trick and wiping out every time, when we’re desperately trying to work out how the hell to master the waterstart, when we’re pissed off and disillusioned and tempted just to sack it all off and go to the pub.

During this stage cortisol levels rise and our brain is emitting beta waves, the type of waves often related to problem solving. It’s frustrating, stressful and is the very reason most of us don’t really have much experience of Flow, because we give up long before we get there.

Those who don’t give up come up against another problem. 

You see we have been conditioned since a very early age to believe old sayings such as “try, try and try again” or “if you work hard enough you can achieve anything.” And so we do, we struggle harder and harder, getting more and more frustrated, more and more stressed.

We literally try to bludgeon our way into a flow state, reasoning if we just keep banging our head against that brick wall long enough we’ll break through…

Unfortunately…

This doesn’t work.

Why?

Because Flow is an intensely focused but intensely RELAXED state. The key here is the word “relaxed.” With all that frustration and stress generated through the struggle phase there is NO WAY you’re relaxed. You have to calm down, release, clear out that cortisol and breath.

Our mothers were all flow hacking experts… when you got frustrated doing some task or because you couldn’t do something well, what did she say?

“Do something else for a while, take your mind off it”

And what inevitably happens when you do…

You come back and perform 10 times better often wondering what all the fuss was about.

As another example, when do all the best ideas hit you?

When you day dreaming (or singing) in the shower! (And you’re no where near a pen to write down the life changing idea you’ve just had!)

Why the hell is this?

Because the second stage of the flow cycle is…

The Release Phase.

We have to shift from the beta brain wave, cortisol fight or flight response of the struggle phase to the alpha brain wave dominated, relaxed release phase. Doing this triggers a whole host of chemical changes within the body, clearing out the cortisol and putting you in that day dreaming, meditative state.

Expert thinkers have been aware of this for years. Einstein used to spend 20mins a day on his back in a rowing boat just staring up at the clouds day dreaming. Edison used to sit in a chair with a cricket ball in his hand and fall asleep, just as he started to drift off his hand relaxed, dropped the ball and boom he was hit with an idea.

If you’re learning to kitesurf, the walk back up the beach to start your next run is a great time to release and a good instructor will be using this time to try to relax you, when you’re surfing all that time spent waiting for the next wave perform a similar duty. Snowboarding – the time spent waiting for your partner to catch up with you whilst you take in the sights!

And I’m sure what ever your sport you can think of an equivalent. If you’re on your own sing a song, think of baby dolphins, plaster an idiot grin on your face anything to shift the body towards this desired state.

In the release phase the body and mind relax so we are prepared to enter the flow state.

It’s only then the magic can happen…

When it does you enter…

The Flow State

The body dumps norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, anandamide, and endorphins into the blood stream so we enter a totally altered state. All of these are performance enhancing, feel good neurochemicals which make you faster, stronger, and quicker – both physically and mentally – and make you feel really damn good while doing it.

They enable the brain to make new connections at lightening speed and perform at it’s absolute highest potential, time speeds up or slows down and every action seems effortless, perfect, godlike.

It’s literally the most addictive high on the planet.

All those weed smoking, drug taking extreme sports athletes, they’re not drug addicts, they’re flow addicts. As the chemicals in these drugs go part way to simulating the intense high these individuals feel smacking the lip of a 20m wave or dropping down a perfect, powdered slope.

Flow can show up almost anywhere in life and it’s not a binary state. So you may have a mind bending, universe twisting flow experience or you may not really notice it. But some simple examples are the first time you stand up and ride when wakeboarding, when you’re surfing and all sense of time, even of self, vanish, so intent are you on the wave, or that feeling of being at one with the mountain as you effortlessly carve down a powder run.

Extreme sports are hardwired to induce Flow they are literally the most flow inducing activities we can pursue, but it can show up in almost anything, hell for some people it might show up washing the dishes!

In the flow state you’ll perform up to 350% better than normal, what’s more because your brain makes new connections at an incredible rate, you learn a LOT faster. For all us nerds it’s like levelling up your character in a Role playing Game. You are now just intrinsically better and cannot go back to what you were!

The issue here is that the flow state is highly addictive, so we just want more and more. But it’s also hugely draining on our biology. It uses up a lot of resources so most of us can’t stay there for very long. This is one of the reason for the “one last go” syndrome in extreme sports…we just want one more go, but because we no longer have the energy to maintain a flow state this is where we get injured.

So the final stage of the flow cycle is:

The Recovery Phase 

It’s probably the most important phase and the one over which we have the most control, but also the one we ignore the most!

How do we recover effectively? 

By eating right, sleeping well, supporting our bodies in every way we can so it can prepare us to re enter The Flow State the next time we strap on a board.

I’ve created a free community where I coach you in how to get into the flow state on demand, you can join here >> (It’s free!)

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Tantrum Kitesurf Is Dead…Long Live Tantrum

Tantrum Kitesurf Is Dead...Long Live Tantrum

Now a lot of you have noticed I’ve been going in a different direction recently, one not quite so related to the technical aspects of kitesurfing. Many of you have asked me what’s happening…so I wanted to take some time to explain.

This year back in March I was ready to start a new season, bookings were rolling in and everything was looking great. Then a certain “incident” happened, all our bookings were cancelled and I realised Tantrum Kitesurf had to shift fast or we were finished.

To be honest it actually came as something of a relief. 

You see for a few years I’ve been noticing something…

Something we were missing in our teaching, something everyone who came to us to kitesurf was missing, something which was way more important than how good our instructors were or how much the wind blew.

When your computer starts to slow down you have 2 options to make it run faster. 

You can upgrade the software. Re write all the code so it’s more efficient, less memory intensive and so takes less juice to run. The problem with this? It’s expensive, it takes ages and costs a hell of a lot. 

Alternatively you can just stick in a better processor, add some extra memory and the thing runs like greased lightning again.

And this is the thing which all of us were missing…

  • We ran Unlimited Hours Courses and had people at the beach for up to 9 hours a day…but for a long time gave them no advise before hand to prepare them and were then disappointed when they couldn’t keep up with the pace.
  • We’d get people come who were totally out of shape and after 2 days they were smoked and couldn’t do anymore.
  • People who hadn’t learned a new skill in 20 years and then took ages to progress or learn a new technique.
  • People who hadn’t looked after themselves in years and were broken the morning after a long day on the water and had to literally drag themselves to the beach despite the fact they’d saved up for ages and paid a lot to come on this holiday…

We were all missing the fundamental, absolute basic, #1 step…and it’s something I see repeated across all industries, all walks of life…

No matter what you are doing, what you are trying to learn or improve you MUST start with the hardware…

YOUR Hardware!

If you are fitter and stronger, if your brain learns more quickly, if you can recover faster in between sessions, if you get injured less, if your body and brain are more agile… 

In short, if your hardware is working optimally… 

Installing new software is easy as the hardware can train harder, learns faster, recovers much quicker and so can practice for many more hours while enjoying the whole process a lot more.

So back in March I made a decision…

Combining my experience teaching extreme sports with my work as a peak performance coach…

I decided to focus on helping you upgrade your hardware, specifically looking at upgrading it for these types of extreme sports.

I realise this won’t be for all of you, some of you are here only for the technical advise and that as a result a few of you will stop following me, that’s okbut before you go I want to say a BIG “Thank You” for supporting me these years and I really hope to see you on some far flung beach or pristine slope some time…

Still here? 

Awesome, here’s what to expect. I’ll still be talking about kitesurfing, surfing, and a whole host of other extreme and adventure sports that I love, but instead of the technical aspects, I’ll be focusing on how to upgrade your hardware, so when it comes to installing the software… 

You breeze through it. 

The heart of this will be “The Pack” an online community (not on Facebook) where I’ll be coaching you weekly through how to do all this…you can join here >> (It’s free!)

See you on the inside…

Sam
😎🤙